Sunday, December 01, 2013

Long Weekend Ilocos Road and Food Trip

Ilocos Empanada, Bagnet & Vigan Longganisa

Because we were on a group tour, we only had limited choices of restaurants but somehow we managed to try a few of Ilocos bests.

Hidden Garden
For our 1st day breakfast, we were dropped off to a plant-filled restaurant called Hidden Garden.

Hidden Garden

This place is quite famous

Here in this restaurant, we had our first take of Vigan Longganisa.

Longsilog, Vigan style

The place is relaxing, a perfect venue after a looong hour road trip. Our only complaint was the required payment when using the toilet. All restaurants should not have to charge customers to use their restrooms. Fortunately, the wait staff made sure to address our concern to their management.

l-r: Tita Amy, Papa, Mama & Tita Marlyn

They also sell different sorts of plants which my parents and titas loved, they even bought dragon fruit plants for their gardens at home.

Plants, plants and more plants

Address: Brgy. Bulala, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Tel Numbers: (077) 722-1450
                    (0917) 922-2827
                    (0921) 664-0737

Cafe Leona
The restaurant is named after Leona Florentino, an Ilocano poetess, subtle satirist and playwright. Her works in Spanish and Ilocano were later exhibited in the "Exposicion General de Filipinas" Madrid 1887 and in the "Exposition Internationale" Paris 1889.

Cafe Leona

The Florentino house was later transformed into a restaurant that is now one of the most popular restaurants in Calle Crisologo, Vigan. The restaurant preserved its Spanish colonial charm so eating in this restaurant is like eating like an Ilustrado during those times.

Interior of Cafe Leona

They serve different cuisines aside from Ilocano dishes and you can order from the menu or from the array of cooked dishes of the day.

Different viands to choose from

We were seated at the corner of the restaurant where I enjoyed hearing the sound of the kalesa from outside, hearing the tok-tok of the kalesa was a dreamy experience as if I was teleported back to past (oh those were the simple joys in life) :)

l-r: Mama, me, Tita Amy, Papa and Tita Marlyn

And because we were in a hurry, we ordered dishes from the chaffing dish such as Fish Fillet, Pork Binagoongan, Pinakbet and Beef Caldereta and my Papa ordered Longganisa from the menu. The Longganisa here is better than the one they serve in Hidden Garden.

Vigan Longganisa

Address: Calle Crisologo - Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Tel Numbers: (077)722-2212

                      (0920) 9068144 

Ilocos Empanada
Ilocos is also known for their unique empanada so my Mama and I didn't miss this chance of trying their orange colored empanda. According to my research, the best tasting Ilocos empanda can be found in the town of Batac, Ilocos Norte but because we weren't able to try it there so Joey, our tour guide brought us to a local empanada store in Pagudpud where we ordered an authentic Ilocos empanada. 

The making of an Ilocos Empanada

Ingredients of Ilocos Empanada: 
Crust- rice flour with achuete to produce an orange color.
Filling- a combination of egg, mongo sprout, grated green papaya plus Ilocos vinegar for flavor.

Yummy! This was my dinner for that day, it's filling and delish. They say that some Ilocos emapanda combine longganisa but this particular empanada had none. Hopefully I can try that version the next time I'm in Ilocos.

Ilocos Empanada

Never ever leave Ilocos without tasting their Bagnet! I've been longing to taste an authentic Bagnet ever since I tried it when I was little in one of the food stalls in Robinson's Food Court years back.

So finally I was able to try it in one of the Carinderyas in Saud Town. Bagnet is a deep fried pork belly which is an Ilocano version of lechon kawali and crispy pata, the only subtle differences are the skin which is thicker and crispier and the sauce. The sauce is a combination of bagoong or fish sauce, tomato and onions.

My dinner- Bagnet and Pakbet

Can't get enough of Bagnet? They have tons of Bagnet for take out along Calle Crislogo for P190 (half a kilo) and P350 (1 kilo). And because I was crazy over Bagnet, I ordered four! :)

Bagnet for take out

Seafood in Blue Lagoon
For our lunch in Pagudpud, our tour guide recommended to order fresh seafoods along the main road going to Blue Lagoon. We bought fresh fish, squid and seaweeds.

Catches of the day

Upon our arrival in Blue Lagoon we asked a local store in the area to cook for us. The dish depends on the what we want and the available ingredients that they have. Here were our orders- Sinigang Fish, Adobong Pusit and Seaweed Salad.

Sinigang Fish

Adobong Pusit/Squid

Seaweed Salad

Lunch at Blue Lagoon

Marcia's Delicacies
Before going back to Manila, we stopped over at a pasalubong shop called Marsha's Delicacies. Joey said that they sell delicious royal bibingka so we tried it out for ourselves.

Marsha's Delicacies

A lady asked me to try one royal bibingka for free so we know how yummy it was. And in all fairness it was really good! I asked the lady who Marsha is (so I know what to write on my blog) and then she politely told me that she's Marsha. What a coincidence! :) Tita Marsha was very hospitable and nice, aside from the free taste royal bibingka she even gave us a few of her delicacies to try for free. And so because we really loved her bibingka we bought a few boxes to bring home as pasalubong :)

Tita Marsha in the flesh with her famous royal bibingka

Address: National Highway, Cabalanggan, 2727 Bantay, Ilocos Sur 
Phone Number: (063) 722 8119
Facebook: Marsha's Delicacies

Despite the awesome food finds during this trip, still there were alot of restaurants and dishes we wanted to try but because we were on a group tour, we had to comply on what was on the itinerary so if you want to go to Ilocos and the main reason is to try their unique cuisines I suggest you to travel on you own or avail the private tours which can also be arranged by Travel Ventours.

Related Post:

You Might Also Like


Like us on Facebook